“On Title” Versus “Entitled”: The Doctrine of Resulting Trust

by: , June 3, 2015

A common estate planning technique to avoid probate tax is for a parent to transfer his or her house into joint tenancy with one of his or her children. That way, when the parent dies, the property passes by way of survivorship from the parent to the child without the need to go through probate…read more

Unregistered Transfer of Property Can Be Valid

by: and , March 25, 2015

A recent decision in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice held that a deed of transfer of land can still be valid even if the deed wasn’t registered until after the transferor died. In the case, Sproul Estate v. Sproul, the testatrix, Ann Sproul, had purchased a house in 1989 with her husband, Leonard, together…read more

Court of Appeal: Promise to Gift House to Son Unenforceable

by: , April 22, 2014

The recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision in Kavanagh v. Lajoie serves as a reminder to folks on the receiving end of a promise not to count their chickens before they are hatched. In 2005, Mark Lajoie’s father promised to gift him a house in Ottawa.  The father then transferred title to the house to himself and…read more

A Resulting Trust May Arise Before Death

by: , October 25, 2013

In estate disputes, it is common for parties to try to claw back into the estate bank accounts that were held jointly with the testator before death. The law provides a mechanism to do this – a resulting trust. Briefly, a resulting trust works as follows: any time property is transferred to someone else for…read more

A Child’s Interest in the Family Cottage

by: , January 27, 2007

Recently, a client came to me regarding the purchase of a family cottage.  The client was obviously excited about his new purchase, and wanted advice as to whether he should include his minor children on title.  As his children would ultimately inherit the cottage, he thought it would be a good idea to include them…read more